We discuss the various issues relating to the diverse workforce and how these influence international business and its effectiveness. As it is observed that the communication barrier is the most influencing in the cross-cultural businesses, its importance and the possible ways to address this aspect to improve the effectiveness of international business is identified and discussed prominently. Finally, the results of the study are discussed and the discussion is concluded with recommendations.
There is a growing trend among multi-national companies to employ diverse workforce, diverse not only in the functional and technological skills they possess, but also from various ethnic, cultural and demographic backgrounds. It is observed that "successful businesses are depending more on effective globalization, which in turn depend on the diversity in workforce" (Toomey, 1999: 4). This is due to the fact that they recognize that a cross-cultural team with its unique abilities can be an asset to the business and that it can contribute to the process of problem-solving owing to its diverse nature (Gupta, 2008 and Barrett, Davidson, 2006: 1). Gupta notes the comments of the SPHR, Delicia Del-gardo, "diversity can result in better business solutions" (2008). There is much evidence as to how these teams thrive on the diversity of skills, knowledge and culture to effectively approach problem-solving in various situations at work. As it enables them to leverage different approaches to solve a particular professional issue, there is a conscious effort by many teams to employ a diverse workforce. It can also be observed that this practice brings multi-dimensional advantages to the company. Along with the advantage of effective problem-solving, which is of importance in cross-cultural environments as they are prone to conflict, this practice of a employing a diverse workforce also brings an advantage to the business in terms of market share. With cross-cultural teams being employed, there is more exposure to the different cultures and also different markets, as with virtual teams, hence, these businesses can penetrate foreign markets with ease due to the inherent knowledge and skills available within (Guindi, Kamel, 2003).
These teams are usually trained to communicate the importance of awareness that diversity exists and the need to identify and find ways to work towards a shared goal of the business, in spite of the differences. Hence, the responsibility lies on the management to train the workforce to be aware of the existence of differences and avoid any conflict rising due to these differences. The managements are responsible to communicate and ensure proper strategies to convey the shared goals and values that the employees need to inculcate to avoid any conflict and work on common grounds (Guindi, Kamel, 2003). However, there are still hoards of conflicts inherent in the cross-cultural businesses that they need to effectively address to ensure its smooth and